JAN. 29, 2021 [Treaty One Territory — Winnipeg, MB] Green Party Leader James Beddome is lending his support to a court challenge and urging the Manitoba Government to give up the fight, change legislation, and allow Manitobans to grow their own Cannabis at home.
In August 2020 Manitoba resident Jesse Lavoie filed an application challenging section 101.15 of The Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Control Act of Manitoba in August 2020, which prevents the cultivation of Cannabis at a home residence, on the basis that it is effectively a criminal prohibition and therefore is constitutionally invalid as it encroaches on federal Parliament’s exclusive authority over criminal law.
A similar challenge in Quebec, Murray Hall c. Procureure générale du Québec, ruled in September 2019 that Quebec’s similar ban on at-home cannabis growing was unconstitutional.
“I am glad to have the political support of both the Green Party of Manitoba, as well as the Manitoba Liberal Party in my Court challenge” says Jesse Lavoie.
“To date I have personally invested a lot of time and money into building a strong case that I believe will be successful. I am prepared to appeal this to the highest level if necessary, but
I do hope the Manitoba Government agrees that this ban is unconstitutional and reverses it promptly,” added Lavoie.
Today Lavoie will be filing his responding expert affidavit evidence, including:
- Dr. Neil Boyd, a professor and Director the School of Criminology at Simon Fraser University;
- Andrew Hathaaway, Associate Professor at the College of Social & Applied Human Sciences at the University of Guelph with expertise in alcohol, cannabis and drug policy;
- Dr. Av Singh, a postdoctoral candidate at the University of Minnesota, and one of Canada’s leading authorities on organic agriculture;
- Dr. Daniel Bear, who holds a PhD in Social Policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science and whose work focuses on criminal justice policy research;
- Jamie Shaw, the only court certifies expert on the dispensary industry in Canada;
- Ryan Kirwan and Landon McDowell, owners of the Aelius LED lighting company; and,
- Rick Macl, a HVAC Engineer and owner of Growers N Smokers in MB, the operator of two retail stores in Winnipeg and Brandon that supply cannabis grow equipment for medically licensed growers.
The next stages of the litigation involve cross-examinations on affidavits, the filing of briefs, and eventually a final hearing that has not yet been scheduled, but it is expected to proceed in late 2021 or early 2022, followed by a decision thereafter.
“In the midst of a global pandemic clearly there are better things to focus government resources on than litigating a Constitutional challenge, particularly when rulings from Quebec indicate the Government is likely to be unsuccessful in the end,” says Beddome.
“I grow my own tomatoes at home in the winter, and brew my own beer and wine at home as well. Would the world really change that much if I grew my own weed?” added Beddome.